Fight Cancer with Long Pepper

Did You Know…a spicy plant called long pepper can combat cancer?

An estimated 1,685,210 new cancer diagnoses will be made in 2016.  Spurred by the ever-growing number of individuals living with cancer, scientists continue to seek a cure for this disease.  Some, like Dr. Siyaram Pandey, have found that the potent cures exist in nature, just waiting for us to harness their power.

Dr. Pandey, an anti-cancer crusader with a successful track record of identifying natural cancer cures, may have just pinpointed his most effective treatment yet—a spicy plant called long pepper that causes cancer cells to kill themselves.

The Hot Plant that Kills Cancer 

Alternate names for long pepper, a long-pepperflowering
vine with fruit that look like long, smooth pinecones, include…

  • Peepal
  • Pippali
  • Vaidehi
  • Magadhi
  • Krishna
  • Piper longum

Pandey and a team of researchers from the University of Windsor in Ontario and the University of Ottawa, published a paper on long pepper in the scientific journal PLOS One describing how an extract of the fruit of the long pepper plant can lead to cancer apoptosis. Apoptosis is a process in which cancer cells cut off their own energy supply and self-destruct.  “We are very excited,” says Pandey.  “We feel that the extract targets multiple things and forces the cell to commit suicide.”  Best of all, the mechanisms that cause cancer cells to self-destruct have no effect whatsoever on healthy cells.

Keeping Healthy Cells Healthy 

One of the most compelling traits of natural cancer treatments is that they are not toxic like radiation or chemotherapy.  “One of the major struggles with cancer therapy is that whatever we use to kill cancer cells also kills healthy cells, which is a very bad side effect,” says Pandey.  Despite decades of research devoted to finding a cure, we still don’t have a selective drug, which Pandey calls “difficult to imagine.”

In the 1960s, a compound of the long pepper fruit was highlighted as a potential cancer fighter, but nothing came of it until 2011 when researchers at Howard University put that compound at the top of a list of 25,000 compounds with the potential to combat cancer.

Pandey came across that research and asked, if a single compound from long pepper had anti-cancer activity, what could a total extract from the fruit do?  “We’re finding out that there are many more compounds present in the extract and that they might be working in synergy against the cancer cells.”

Long History of Health Benefits 

Research on long pepper extract is ongoing, but the fruit itself already has a long history of use in the Ayurvedic tradition.  The best way to determine an appropriate dosing of this herb is to consult with a naturopath or herbalist.

The ideal dosage varies depending on the condition you’re seeking to treat, as well as your age, sex, and overall health.  If you’re interested in trying it for yourself, be sure to consult with a trusted health professional.